Program Evaluation Assignment Help
Please use the following headings in your paper to improve organization and ensure all required areas are discussed:
- Program Description (Including: description of the program, population served, activities of the program, and program outcomes)
- Evaluation Preparation (Including: Selected evaluation mode, and methods of data collection/analysis)
- Evaluation Reporting (Including: Reporting/dissemination the evaluation findings, ethical considerations, and communication to staff and stakeholders)
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The objective of the “friends of children” program is to provide assistance and support to vulnerable children within the country. The program has been affiliated by the National Network Office (Greene, Lee & Nelsen, 2016). Its prime motive is to develop relationships, compatibilities, and careers of those children who have suffered with social determinants such as violence and poverty. However, according to the report of Houser (2019) children suffering with factors such as maltreatment in terms of education, social bullying or family factors were also considered within this scope. The majority of the population within this program are children at high-risk poverty, and the program provides proper guidance to make them a responsible citizen of the society. The population involved in this program comes from different backgrounds, where 60% of children have undergraduate parents, and 50% of children's parents are imprisoned (Greene, Lee & Nelsen, 2016). In addition to this, the program also takes care of children born to teen parents, who are financially and mentally incapable to take care of the children. In this regard, the program aims at giving a better life to these children through social and emotional development. It provides an education facility for each child from kindergarten to graduation, which emphasizes on the behavioural and cognitive development.
The “friends of children” program has emerged as a nationwide program, which focuses on eradicating the generational poverty cycle. The program has hired a number of professional employees who are called “friends”. Each caring adult “friend” has to work with each child for at least a period of 7 years (Grinnell, Gabor &Unrau, 2015). This can be related with the description presented by Domitrovich and co-workers (2017), in their report for social and emotional competencies for child development. Within this time period, the caring adult develops a strong and consistent relationship with the child. These individuals who provide care to the children are highly dedicated and deals patiently with the child's psychology. In this way, each child is provided with a one-on-one friend or companion for a minimum time period of 16 hours per month. It provides long-term support in the form of a child's educational and social development. The “friend” conducts detailed research on each child, so as to plan appropriate life skill activities (Morris et al., 2017). Additionally, the program also tries to create meaningful experiences for each child to develop their interests, through research-based assets. Since the early childhood leadership is highly relevant for shaping the future of young generation, thus this concept is highly relevant in the present program. The program is the block on the theory that a small investment in the early stage of the children will help in providing a greater benefit to society in the future (Higgins & O’ Sullivan, 2015). According to the report by the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, it is inferred that an investment of $1 will be able to save the social cost of at least $7 within the community. In addition to this, another report also mentions that providing proper guidance to a child will be helpful in saving an amount of $90, 0000 in the community. Overall, this program is highly effective as it breaks down the poverty cycle and helps to build the skills of children for making them a productive source of society.
For data evaluation of the “friend of the children”, the best evaluation model is the CIPP model. This model was developed by Daniel Stufflebeam and his co-workers in the year 1960. It is a decision based method used for systematic evaluation of the program. This model evaluates the value of any program by considering its input, methodology, and output. It decides the effectiveness of the program on the basis of the final output of the program. This evaluation model is appropriate for the given case study program because it considers the direct requirement of the decision-makers as well as gives emphasis on the proposed activities. In addition to this, it gathers data and feedback from the members (professional mentors and the children) involved in the group. Thus, the CIPP model provides a genuine and appropriate evaluation data of the program (Skryabina et al., 2016).
The CIPP model involves intermediate measures for evaluating any type of program. In the present report, the intermediate steps needed for program evaluation are: data collection, methodology, data analysis, and reporting. Here, data collection is the step which includes the process of identifying method and interval of gathering information. The various methods of data collection used in this context include observation, and questionnaire distribution.
Observation - Observation is one of the most important methods of data collection in descriptive sociological research. According to Morris et al (2017), observation is a systematic and deliberate study of spontaneous occurrence in terms of action or response on a particular time. It is defined as an intended, purposive, well-organized and conscious effort to focus on important facts of a particular situation. It is one of the most common and significant methodologies of data collection. In this method, the evaluator analyses the responses of the questionnaire collected from the mentors and children. It analyses the thinking process and their activities which is reflected in the questionnaire response. The responses from the interview reveal the expression of the people while giving responses to the interviewer. This methodology gives more emphasis on what the interviewee thinks and perceives about the program (Skryabina et al., 2016). The observation is usually conducted by watching the respondents in actual action form where they are involved in different activities and situations. Additionally, the evaluator also observes the responses collected by the interviewer, which reflects their opinion about the program. The objective of conducting observations in this context is to observe nature as well as significant interrelated elements involved in the program. This methodology will help in evaluating the program by developing a mutual relationship between the spontaneous occurring events and examining the significant factors associated with the program. Thus, observation is not a random assumption of people's opinions or actions, rather it is conducted by the close look on important facts collected (Jenson, & Fraser, 2015).
It improves the efficacy and fidelity of the children, and encourage them to move in the positive path of life. On the basis of the latest report, it is identified that the program has successfully completed the graduation of 83% of youth, saved 93% of the children from the juvenile justice system, and prevented 93% of teenagers from becoming early parents. This data represents that the program not only provides education to the children but also guides them to differentiate between the good and the evil deeds in life (Greene, Lee & Nelsen, 2016).
Questionnaire – In this section, we will discuss about the questionnaires that will be used for the present assignment. It is worth mentioning that questionnaire is another important method of data collection which is considered as the speediest as well as the simple technique (Silber, Stark, Blom&Krosnick, 2018). In this technique, a questionnaire form (set of questions) is distributed to the respondents (mentors and children). The respondents are requested to answer the question without consulting anyone. The questions are designed according to different age groups and thinking ability. The questionnaires are sent to a few selected individuals within the limited scope for eliciting the best possible information, provided that the respondents fill the set of questions properly. A relevant and suitably designed and distributed questionnaire is considered as the most useful data gathering tool. This method is considered effective because of its low cost and is free from any kind of business.
Some of the proposed questions designed for the children involved in the program:
• Do you have a “friend” in this organization?
• Are you going to school regularly?
• Does your “friend” gives attention to your requirements, and problems, and given requisite solutions?
Questions designed for the professional mentors “friends” involved in the program:
• Have you accessed the needs of children in the training program?
• How do you assess these needs of children?
• What group of children are targeted in this program?
• How many hours does a “friend” spend with a single child per day?
The final step of the evaluation process is to prepare the evaluation report and then disseminate the evaluation output. For preparing the evaluation report, the evaluator considers the associated stakeholders and the information they need to know. It is the responsibility of the evaluator to design the report considering each stakeholder, which must be advantageous to each of them. There are three distinct audiences (stakeholders) present within the process of evaluation: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary stakeholders are those individuals who fund the “friends of children” program from proper guidance and management of the children (Greene et al, 2016). The report prepared will be used by them to make a decision for funding the program in the future or not. The secondary stakeholders comprise of the employees, professional mentors, and children who have limited direct involvement in the program. The final evaluated result has also an impact on their performance. The tertiary stakeholders are directly or indirectly connected with the program and have limited interests knowing the results of the program evaluation. The tertiary stakeholders include the local public, government, and society.
There are several ways of disseminating the evaluated result such as program brochures, annual report, flyers, social media and policy briefs. The evaluator might share the final evaluated result as a presentation in a professional conference. It can even be shared in the form of an article to a journal that is related to the evaluation. In addition to this, it is important for the evaluator to communicate with stakeholders and staff of the program, through email. In this way, the evaluator informs about the program success, plans, and issues. Email is considered as the best communication media because it keeps a record of data shared between both parties.
It is important to consider ethical issues while preparing the evaluation report for a social care program. In this given report, the evaluation of “friends of the children” program should consider ethical concerns like informed consent, voluntary participation, no harm, confidentiality, access to components, and anonymity (Domitrovich et al, 2017). The evaluator should consider ‘informed consent’ as a primary requirement, where the respondents or participants should be well informed about the evaluation process. Especially in the questionnaire and observation method, the evaluator should encourage voluntary participation, instead of forcing (Houser, 2019).
In summary, the present report is based on “Friends of the children” which include program description, evaluation preparation, and the evaluation reporting. It is recommended that the evaluation program should not affect the participants, either physically or mentally. The evaluator team should be well-informed about the funding agencies and stakeholders involved in the program. In addition to this, it is the responsibility of the evaluator team to prepare an unbiased report.
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